A Douglasville automobile accident attorney understands how a car crash can impact your life. Being in an auto collision can be traumatic. It leaves you in a state of confusion and vulnerability. The shock, injury, or fright can make you forget what to do after a car accident.
As a result, you may fail to take actions that would help your compensation claim. So whether it is a minor or severe collision, knowing what to do after a crash will help you avoid costly mistakes. This article covers steps to take after a car accident in Douglasville.
A Douglasville Automobile Accident Attorney Explains What to Do After a Crash
Collisions with passenger vehicles can lead to severe injuries and property damage. Therefore, you must protect your right to recover compensatory damages. The process of dealing with a car wreck begins at the accident scene. The following steps guide you in what to do after a car accident.
1. Remain Calm
Car accidents can leave one disoriented and confused. However, remaining calm can help you deal with the accident and its aftermath. Stop and get your vehicle off the road. If you cannot move your car, move to a safe spot away from the road and return to the crash site. Leaving the scene can compromise your liability claim.
2. Report the Accident to the Police
The next critical step is to report to the police. Failing to do so has negative repercussions. Upon arrival, the officer will draw up a police crash report. The report is crucial evidence in the claim process.
Police officers are trained to handle any accident situation in Douglasville. Without their report, there may not be sufficient proof of how your injury happened. So, don’t leave the scene before the police arrive.
A police report contains the following:
- Detailed investigation of the accident
- Diagram of the crash scene, including tire skid marks
- Identifying information of all parties
- Eyewitness statements
- The identity of the party responsible for the crash
- Details of your injuries and property damage
- Citations of any traffic ticket issued, which helps to prove fault, etc.
Failure to report the crash to the police exposes you to being blamed for the crash by the at-fault party. In addition, ensure you get a copy of the crash report.
3. Seek Immediate Medical Treatment
Many victims do not visit a doctor after a car accident. You risk your health and right to compensation when you fail to get medical care.
Getting proper and continuous medical care after a collision is critical. It establishes a link between the car crash and your injuries. Delay or failure to see a physician makes your claim less credible.
Also, insurance companies devise defenses to deny or pay you less than you deserve. Without documenting the immediate effect of the crash, the insurance company may claim that:
- That your injuries resulted from another accident
- There is no correlation between the accident and your injuries
- You are making up your injuries and damages
- The injuries are from a pre-existing condition, etc.
Don’t give them any reason to deny your claim or pay you an unfair settlement. Also, ensure you follow up on your appointment and document the progress of your injuries.
4. Identify the Other Parties Involved
If you are involved in a collision, know who you are claiming against. The negligent driver may not always end up paying for your damages. Sometimes the vehicle owner or multiple parties bears the liability.
So ensure you identify all the possible liable parties to hold them responsible for your injuries. A Douglasville automobile accident attorney can help you identify the negligent parties.
5. Exchange Information With the Other Party
Drivers involved in a car crash in Georgia should exchange contact and insurance information. Ensure to get the following details:
- Driver’s name, address, phone number
- Insurance policy information
- Vehicle identification number
- Driver’s license number
- Vehicle registration information
- A detailed description of the vehicle, etc.
6. Collect Eyewitness Information
If there are witnesses who saw the crash, speak to them and find out what they saw. Collect their contact information. Eyewitnesses willing to defend you can significantly impact your claim. Their testimonies are usually unbiased. So, ask them to stay and give a statement to the police.
7. Gather Evidence of the Accident
Collect as much evidence as you can at the accident scene. If you are not injured, take time to assess the damages to your vehicle. It is wise to take photos and videos of the crash scene. Try to recollect the events before and after the crash.
Information is more reliable when fresh in your mind. Therefore, you must document the incident to avoid your memory of the event fading with time.
8. Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer
A car accident can be difficult and traumatic to deal with. In addition, you may not know what is in your best interest. So it is beneficial to reach out to a lawyer familiar with Georgia’s personal injury law.
The attorney will help you recover the compensation you deserve for your injuries and damages. The compensation covers:
- Current and future medical expenses
- Lost wages/earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Short or long-term disability
- Loss of consortium
- Funeral and burial expenses, etc.
9. Notify the Insurance Company
To secure compensation for your damages, you must inform the at-fault driver’s insurance company. The insurance adjuster will investigate the accident and assess your claim, but be careful in dealing with them.
Insurance companies are not out to serve you. Their interest lies in their profits and limitation of liabilities. Therefore, they will deploy any tactic to refuse to pay your settlement. Get a lawyer to handle all communication and negotiations on your behalf. That way, your right to compensation is protected.
What You Should Not Do After a Car Accident in Douglasville, GA
It is equally important to know what you shouldn’t do after a car accident. They include:
- Having roadside discussions about responsibility
- Admitting fault
- Finger-pointing at the other driver
- Forgetting to document all information
- Fleeing the accident site
- Posting about the accident on social media
- Speaking with an insurance adjuster without a lawyer
- Filing an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit without an attorney, etc.
Reach Out to the Best Douglasville Personal Injury Attorneys Today!
Car accidents occur every day in Douglasville. The resulting damage can impact your life and your loved ones. After a car accident, hire a lawyer to discuss your options.
At the Law Office of John B. Jackson, we understand how the aftermath of a crash can be unsettling. If you are involved in a car accident, speak to a skilled Douglasville personal injury attorney at our firm today. We will walk you through the process of getting the compensation you deserve.